Since we were founded in 1973 in West Sussex, we have expanded to support around 2,000 people across 400 locations in England and Wales.

Our support is built around the individual and we adapt the support we provide regularly. Part of that support involves the knowledge of our Best Practice team.

These trained experts have experience and qualifications in successfully supporting people with complex needs, challenging behaviour, and more.

Our practice development team

From left: Bob Iles, John Ockenden, Susan Stokes, Alan Williams, Marie Cresswell, Bev Murphy

Our practice development team not only regularly attend professional events but also produce or review best practice resources constantly. Here is more information about each individual on our team.

Bev Murphy, Head of Practice, has been working with people with learning disabilities in New Zealand and the UK for more than 35 years and joined United Response in 1991. Her interests include person-centred approaches, active support, practice leadership and positive behaviour support.

John Ockenden, Practice Development Co-ordinator, joined United Response as a support worker in 1984 and has worked for the organisation in variety of roles since. He is particularly interested in active support, understanding challenging behaviour and service cultures.

Bob Iles, Practice Development Advisor, worked as a support worker and manager for nearly 20 years before joining the Practice Development Team in 2005. His passions are communication, autism and sensory issues, and focusing on ways to help teams provide good support.

Alan Williams, Practice Development Co-ordinator, has worked with people at risk of exclusion and devaluation for more than 20 years. He has been a support worker and service manager, joining United Response in 2003. He is particularly interested in developing alternative service models, supporting services to work with broader communities and learning from families.

Marie Cresswell, Positive Behaviour Support Co-ordinator, is also a Positive Behaviour Support consultant for BILD. She has extensive experience in supporting people with learning disabilities and behaviours described as challenging and has just completed her MSc in Analysis and Intervention in Intellectual Disabilities at the University of Kent.

Susan Stokes, Practice Development & Training Administrator, joined United Response as a Senior Support Worker in 2000 and was a Service Manager for several years before joining the Practice Development team. She is passionate about supporting staff to promote good active support and leadership.

Additionally, we have an in house Health & Safety team, plus a Quality Assurance & Safeguarding team.

Our awards

We have accrued a variety of awards for our work and hold a number of professional standards. You can view all of these on our memberships and accreditations page.

Get support

For more information about the support we offer, please check the following or make a support enquiry:

You can also read more about our specialist approaches and our core approaches.